Greg Murphy speaks on the decision to call time on his full-time V8 career
Kiwi legend Greg Murphy believes several factors conspired to close the door on his 15-season V8 Supercars career including the wildly shifting landscape in the category.
After announcing that he abandoned plans to press ahead and attempt to breathe new life into his full-time V8 Supercars quest, Murphy spoke exclusively to Speedcafe.co.nz.
The 40-year-old four-times Bathurst 1000 champion remained circumspect about coming to the end of the road of his high-class career as a full-season driver.
The changing landscape of Australia’s premier circuit racing class has placed more pressure on team budgets and made it extra challenging for the more established drivers like Murphy to keep their career’s on course.
Speedcafe.co.nz editor Gordon Lomas spoke with Murphy soon after his decision was made public.
SPEEDCAFE: I guess the clocking was ticking in terms of securing a deal?
Greg Murphy: The reality is that it was expected and it was what we had to work towards.
SPEEDCAFE: Were there any real prospects with any team including Tekno Autosports for next year?
Murphy: I don’t know if Tekno really was a possibility. I never really had any communication with them about it. I think it was more other people at Holden working on behalf of in some respects. It never really got anywhere as I never spoke to anyone at Tekno directly about it.
SPEEDCAFE: Even with back problems, New Zealand V8 SuperTourers (finished second in the Championship) has proven you are driving as well as never?
Murphy: I don’t have a problem with the way I’m driving or anything. It’s pretty difficult to prove your ability and I’m not the only one who has shown that in the last however many years. If you don’t have the goods you don’t do the job.
If anyone else has got a problem with it, thats their choice. Potentially the back issue might have damaged chances just because it’s a risk potentially and it was mine.
Again if that is the case then so be it although no-one has said anything about that or used that as an excuse. So I can’t say that’s been a factor in anyone’s decisions.
SPEEDCAFE: What were some of the factors that may have conspired with you being left without a full-time gig?
Murphy: I tend to think that there’s a few factors and one of them is probably money. The other one may be the back issue but I’m not so sure. But maybe there are some people which were basing it on performance over the last couple of years as well. I really don’t know.
SPEEDCAFE: Considering your record it is pretty premature to finish up full-time don’t you think?
Murphy: Well that’s the way I saw it. That wasn’t what I wanted to do and still believe we’ve got a lot to contribute and a lot to offer but things have changed. The category is changing and very, very quickly. Everywhere you turn people are concerned about the financial stability of their operations and clearly that has had a lot of bearing on changes in the Championship next year with people who are new, rookies and people who are full-time. It’s going to be a very different looking championship and I guess people have got to do what they have to do to survive I suppose. And that’s what it’s all about. She’s proven to be hard for a lot of teams. With Car Of The Future there is a lot of costs involved. Some have obviously had to compromise and sobeit.
I’m not going to bitch and moan about it. That’s just the way it is.
That’s life. There are no issues.
SPEEDCAFE: Looking at the enduros next year is there a chance you may find your way back with the Holden Racing Team and alongside Garth Tander?
Murphy: Myself and a couple of people who work with me and give advice on certain things we will just go through and consider what options are there.
We will make a decision sometime in the New Year. I don’t think there is too much of a rush on that at the moment. We’ll just take our time as we need to.
SPEEDCAFE: Are your New Zealand V8 SuperTourer plans next year in place?
Murphy: That seems to be not far off being sorted. I’ve just got to lock away a few more bits and pieces and the powers that be over there have got a bit of work to do still to get everything sorted out.
I suppose now I’m committed to doing the SuperTourers thing whereas if there had been a main game Australian drive then I probably would have had looked at doing the main game and only done the enduros in the SuperTourers.
But now that has been all been sorted out.
I’ll put the same amount of effort behind the SuperTourers as we did this year and hopefully replicate a fair bit of what we achieved.
SPEEDCAFE: Considering you missed two rounds of the V8 SuperTourers due to your back injury and you ended up finishing second, it was a good indication that your driving is still on song?
Murphy: We missed the two rounds and that part of it is easily forgotten I suppose. We did have some good success and the team did a really good job.
The three cars that were at M3 Racing this year are continuing on with the same drivers so we will keep a bit of consistency there.